Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Promised Don I'd Blog Today

Life has not been easy lately for former major firm partner. He quit his job three or four months ago but still goes to the office every day, I know it's confusing, just leave it be. His new dog is not quite up to scratch and the Red Sox are not going to the World Series.

Thank Christ about the Red Sox, I honestly think I would have had to kill myself if they had pulled off another miracle come back and beaten the Tampa (Don't call us Devil) Rays in the ALCS.

Don't get me wrong, there are things I like about the Red Sox: Big Papi, Jason Bay and Historical Icon Park spring to mind. but their fans are the most insufferable "Nation" on the face of the Planet. I mean c'mon, when you go 86 freakin' years between Championships and then turn the trick twice in three seasons do you really think you're a fucking Dynasty ? I mean Florida has the same number of World Championships as you have since the end of WWI so lighten up boys.

Anyhow, while consoling FMFP on the phone yesterday I promised I'd blog today so here we go.

First off I didn't report on my nine days off because I was sick as a dog for half of them, and secondly nothing else memorable happened besides me going to bed at the same time as daughter.

I have had some interesting beverages in the past couple of weeks and thought I'd share. In the red wine department two new choices have been added to my stable, the first is Librandi Ciro Rosso Classico 2005 a lovely Calabrian wine made with 100% Gaglioppo grapes that is medium bodied with nice hints of spicebox and dried fruits with nice tannins to complement most things with tomato, red peppers, red meats or spicier fare.

Gaglioppo is an "ancient grape" that has been cultivated in the southern part of Italy for 3,000 years or so. The grape is hardy and ripens late in the year so Calabria's hot dry climate is a natural, Italian wine writer Tom Ciocco refers to Gaglioppo as the "Barolo of the South" which is high praise indeed but he's really just putting the boot to an old expression calling Aglianico "the Barolo of the South" when Aglianico wines are not at all similar to Barolo.

I'm not sure I'd ever confuse this bottling with Barolo but at $11.99 retail it's a great match for pasta or ragouts, not widely available I have a feeling this is a product that has been discounted so if you see it grab a few to enjoy over the winter, CSPC#244442.

The other red I've recently added to the rotation is Graham Beck's entry level Pinotage, Pinno 2007, CSPC#208488. This wine I am sure has had it's price reduced recently from $14.99 and now retails at $11.99. Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault created in South Africa in the 1920s,it was the feature grape of many South African reds from the late 1950s through the early 1990s. The wine was over planted and over cropped however and made indifferently it fell out of favour.

Graham Beck is a South African mining gazillionaire who entered the wine business in the '80s and has great track record of making modern style wines with good varietal character. Pinotage is not easy to make as if improperly handled it tastes medicinal but this example is rich flavoured with plums, red berries and just a touch of barnyard. It's a nice accompaniment to pizza or pasta and I like it, not as much as I like the Ciro but the Pinno is easier to find.

I also tried two new Beer lately, with mixed results. I liked the Organic Ale from Duchy Originals, CSPC#689497 $3.50 for a 500ml. bottle., the beer showed medium hops and a nice after taste, it has great colour and will probably make a regular appearance in my fridge over the winter. Duchy Originals are the organic food company founded by Prince Charles in 1990 that produce everything from seeds to trowels and all organic. All profits are donated to the Princes Charities Foundation to the tune of more than 6 million pounds since 1999 - so it's good beer and good for the planet.

The other beer was a disappointment on many levels, it was the latest seasonal bottling from Granville Island Brewing, their Limited Release Oktoberfest Lager, CSPC #731752, $4.90 for a 650ml bottle. I want, badly, to be impressed with Granville Island's beers but I rarely am and this was no exception the beer was just ordinary and for $4.90 for a 650ml with words like "limited release" involved I want more than ordinary.

I love the idea of a craft brewery in the middle of the urban jungle turning out quality beers year round but I'm almost always disappointed in the finished product from GI. In addition as part of the Sleeman conglomerate of "micro brews" they don't really deserve my love the way many other local brewers do, still a man can dream.

Tomorrow promises to be a big day as it is the premiere of High School Musical III, the first theatrical release from the Disney juggernaut ......... but you already knew that.

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